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Intelligibility treatment in French dysarthria (Moya-Galé et al., 2021)

posted on 10.03.2021, 02:52 by Gemma Moya-Galé, Bryan Keller, Sergio Escorial, Erika S. Levy
Purpose: This study examined the effects of Speech Intelligibility Treatment (SIT) on intelligibility and naturalness of narrative speech produced by francophone children with dysarthria due to cerebral palsy.
Method: Ten francophone children with dysarthria were randomized to one of two treatments, SIT or Hand–Arm Bimanual Intensive Therapy Including Lower Extremities, a physical therapy (PT) treatment. Both treatments were conducted in a camp setting and were comparable in dosage. The children were recorded pre- and posttreatment producing a story narrative. Intelligibility was measured by means of 60 blinded listeners’ orthographic transcription accuracy (percentage of words transcribed correctly). The listeners also rated the children’s naturalness on a visual analogue scale.
Results: A significant pre- to posttreatment increase in intelligibility was found for the SIT group, but not for the PT group, with great individual variability observed among the children. No significant changes were found for naturalness ratings or sound pressure level in the SIT group or the PT group posttreatment. Articulation rate increased in both treatment groups, although not differentially across treatments.
Conclusions: Findings from this first treatment study on intelligibility in francophone children with dysarthria suggest that SIT shows promise for increasing narrative intelligibility in this population. Acoustic contributors to the increased intelligibility remain to be explored further.

Supplemental Material S1. Individual speakers’ raw score for transcription accuracy (TA) in Speech Intelligibility Treatment (SIT) and Physical Therapy (PT) groups.

Supplemental Material S2. Individual speakers’ raw score for naturalness in Speech Intelligibility Treatment (SIT) and Physical Therapy (PT) groups.

Moya-Galé, G., Keller, B., Escorial, S., & Levy, E. S. (2021). Speech treatment effects on narrative intelligibility in French-speaking children with dysarthria. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2020_JSLHR-20-00258

Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: Select Papers From the 2020 Conference on Motor Speech.


This project was supported by Teachers College, Columbia University, through a Global Investment Fund and a Dean’s Competitive Grant for Faculty Research (awarded to Erika S. Levy).